Chapman elaborates on fan support message

August 15th, 2018
OAKLAND, CA - JULY 31: Matt Chapman #26 of the Oakland Athletics is congratulated by manager Bob Melvin #6 after Chapman scored against the Toronto Blue Jays in the bottom of the six inning at Oakland Alameda Coliseum on July 31, 2018 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

OAKLAND -- 's earnest appeal for a boost in support at the Coliseum is all over the internet. The more views, the better, Chapman maintains.

"I got some text messages from friends and people that I haven't played with in a long time that live in the Bay Area and said they saw it and they loved it and they're coming to the game," Chapman said. "Every little bit helps."

Unprompted at the conclusion of his postgame interview with NBC Sports California following the A's 7-6 win over the Mariners on Monday night, the team's third baseman used the platform to send a pointed message:

"I just want to use this time also to just encourage people in Oakland to come out, man," Chapman said. "All the fans and support we can get, we would really appreciate it. Tonight, we're fighting until the very end against the Mariners, and I just wish we could get some more people out here. We're fun to watch, and we really want our fans to come out and support us. It would be great."

The A's have struggled to draw big crowds at the Coliseum for years; they're averaging 18,409 per game this season -- third fewest in the Majors behind Tampa (14,683) and Miami (9,677) -- and drew just 10,400 for a meaningful matchup between a pair of postseason contenders Monday night.

The 25-year-old Chapman, old school in his approach and never afraid to speak his mind despite having just 187 career games under his belt, responded with a public petition on behalf of his A's, who have a 2 1/2-game lead over the Mariners for the second American League Wild Card spot and trail first-place Houston by just two games in the AL West.

Their 37-12 record since June 16 is tied with Boston for tops in baseball.

"Just pointing out the fact that yesterday was a big game and we would love to have more people there," Chapman said Tuesday. "It wasn't me saying we don't have a lot of fans. I'm not calling anybody out. I don't want anybody to think that. I just want it to be positive. I'm not afraid to say my opinion, and it's not like I have anything bad to say. I just wanted to use it as a platform to encourage people to come out. We've been playing good baseball, and I feel like we're putting on good entertainment. I don't know what else people could ask for."

"It was perfect," A's designated hitter said of his teammate's message. "I agree. I want to see the fans getting into it and seeing bigger crowds. That puts a little more edge on our psyche and, for the opponent, it's intimidating here when there's a lot of fans. The fans were into it last night. They were loud, but imagine it with a full house."

Chapman is offering much to cheer about these days. The infielder is matching his Gold Glove-caliber defense with a booming bat, hitting .375 with a 1.190 OPS since the All-Star break. He's a superstar in the making, just like the A's envisioned, but he's often going about his work in front of small-scale crowds.

"He just wants to play in front of a big crowd," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "We've had some terrific crowds here this year, and guys just like playing in front of big crowds, so I don't blame him. He's just trying to encourage the fan base to come out and support us. When we have a full house here, it inspires us, and our fans are as loud as any in baseball."